“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

Ansiedlung als Identifikationsbeleg. Erinnerungs-konstrukte in Siedler/Kolonistenromanen

Publication: Philologica Jassyensia, VIII (1), p. 229-265
Publisher:Institutul de Filologie Română „A. Philippide”
Abstract:The present study deals with a literary genre, which tries to legitimize the collective identity of certain minorities: the novel about the colonization in Europe, but on other continents as well. We have in view the structural elements which define this genre, a subspecies of the adventure novel. The characteristic factors of this literary genre are identified: themes, the system of motifs etc. Tradition is mainly established for certain well defined territories, in our case: Banat, colonized by the Habsburgs in the 18th century.
The novels under discussion were published between 1849 and 1954. The six selected authors wrote at least one century after the events and tried to interpret history. At the beginning, colonization was considered to be an adventure, an incursion into unknown regions with unexpected situations, confrontations with people and cultures alien to Western people. Examples may be novels by Bernhard Jackle and Karl Wilhelm von Martini. A well known novelist born in Banat, Adam Muller-Guttenbrunn, turned the colonization novel into an epic about the Swabian community from this region. Making use of documents of the time, Muller-Guttenbrunn tried to prove the civilizing role played by the Swabs in Banat.
Even, contrary to the reality, he emphasized the important role played by this ethnical group in the Habsburgic imperialistic policy.
Muller-Guttenbrunn’s novels were published in an impressive number (almost 500,000 copies) and imposed the image of the Swaben community in Banat, considered to be a factor of utmost importance for progress in this region.
Karl von Moller promoted a racist and imperialist ideology. For Moller, only the German nation should have a European vocation, the nations in the south-eastern Europe or even the other Western countries being promoters of a wrong policy. From this platform Moller justifies his praise of the Habsburgs. Another author, Alfons von Czibulkan, a supporter of the Habsburg Empire, avoided Moller’s racism and presented the daily and humoristic aspects of colonization.
Analysing the novels on colonization in Banat, written by six authors, the present study focuses on the various ways of presenting historical events as they are reflected in the collective mentality. The parallel discussion regarding several authors puts into evidence a real diversity in treating a common theme.
Key words:literary genres, adventure novel, imagology, regional literature, history of minorities
Language: German

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